Bottle Notes, Merlot

2009 Betz Family Clos de Betz – Bottle Notes

Betz Family Winery was founded in 1997 by Bob & Cathy Betz. Critical acclaim from local and national wine publications has put Betz Family Winery at the forefront of Washington wines alongside Cayuse, Leonetti and Quilceda Creek. The winery was sold to Steve and Bridget Griessel (with Bob Betz remaining on as the winemaker), and I fully expect quality will…

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Bottle Notes, Merlot

2005 Switchback Ridge Merlot – Bottle Notes

Switchback Ridge wines are sourced from the Peterson Family Vineyard in Calistoga. The property has been in the Peterson Family since 1914 and was replanted to Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Petite Sirah in 1990. Bob Foley has been the winemaker since the inaugural vintage in 1999. Opaque purple in color. 14.8% ABV. Aromas of cherry, lavender, leather, kirsch and evergreen…

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2004 Switchback Ridge Merlot
Bottle Notes, Merlot

2004 Switchback Ridge Merlot – Bottle Notes

Switchback Ridge wines are sourced from the Peterson Family Vineyard in Calistoga. The property has been in the Peterson Family since 1914 and was replanted to Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Petite Sirah in 1990. Bob Foley has been the winemaker since the inaugural vintage in 1999. Opaque purple in color. 15.5% ABV. Nose of cassis, tar and dark fruits. Plums,…

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Bottle Notes, Merlot

In Defense of Merlot

It’s become fashionable to bash Merlot. Will Lyons of the Wall Street Journal wrote: “What struck me was how different the vintages were in style, how poorly some of the Merlots showed and just how stunning the Cabernet Sauvignons were.” From Tim Fish of The Wine Spectator: “The 2010 California Merlots just aren’t much fun to taste. Another tough day…

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2004 Leonetti Merlot
Bottle Notes, Merlot

2004 Leonetti Merlot – Bottle Notes

Leonetti Cellar was founded in 1977 by Gary and Nancy Figgins. Leonetti, along with Quilceda Creek and Woodward Canyon put premium Washington Cabernet Sauvignon on the radar of wine consumers across the United States. Leonetti also produces one of the very best domestic Merlots. Leonetti is near and dear to me as a wine consumer, and I’ve been on their…

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2003 Leonetti Merlot
Bottle Notes, Merlot

2003 Leonetti Merlot – Bottle Notes

Leonetti Cellar was founded in 1977 by Gary and Nancy Figgins. Leonetti, along with Quilceda Creek and Woodward Canyon put premium Washington Cabernet Sauvignon on the radar of wine consumers across the United States. Leonetti also produces one of the very best domestic Merlots. Leonetti is near and dear to me as a wine consumer, and I’ve been on their…

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2007 Force Majeure Collaboration IV
Bottle Notes, Merlot

2007 Grand Reve/Force Majeure CS IV – Bottle Notes

Previously known as Grand Rêve, Force Majeure was founded in 2004 by Paul McBride and Ryan Johnson. Force Majeure pairs some of Washington’s highly acclaimed winemakers with fruit from one of the state’s highly acclaimed vineyards, Ciel du Cheval. Carolyn Lakewold of Donedei made this wine for Force Majeure. 60% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc, 18% Cabernet Sauvignon, 2% Petit Verdot.…

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2003 Quilceda Creek Merlot
Bottle Notes, Merlot

2003 Quilceda Creek Merlot – Bottle Notes

Quilceda Creek Vintners was founded in 1978 by Alex and Jeanette Golitzin. Alex Golitzin is a nephew of André Tchelistcheff, the legendary winemaker who put Beaulieu Vineyard at the forefront of Napa Valley Cabernet in the 1960s and 70s. He credits summer trips to visit his uncle in St. Helena, California with developing his early interest in wine. Alex’s son,…

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2002 Leonetti Merlot
Bottle Notes, Merlot

2002 Leonetti Merlot – Bottle Notes

Leonetti Cellar was founded in 1977 by Gary and Nancy Figgins. Leonetti, along with Quilceda Creek and Woodward Canyon put premium Washington Cabernet Sauvignon on the radar of wine consumers across the United States. Leonetti also produces one of the very best domestic Merlots. Leonetti is near and dear to me as a wine consumer as well, and I have…

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